Opinions Expressed in "Rants," while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.

I Didn't Go to my Own Grad

Once upon a time I finished grade 12 - that year was 1990. The Berlin Wall fell that year; an event we thought to be a miracle. That year was ruled by MC Hammer. That year, in fact, that night, of my ceremony, the Oilers won the Stanley Cup. That was cool.

But I didn't go to my Grad banquet, or to the After Grad. Do I regret it? Well, kinda.

Under the circumstances it was an understandable decision. I didn't really have any friends other than my buddy Greg - although we got along with a few people - so Greg and I went to a movie. That was our grad. We celebrated grad together, given that basically, our high school experience was our friendship. And considering what was to happen the following year, I don't regret that.

I regret the movie we saw though. Back to the Future II. Or should I say Back to the Future Poo. The third one was much better.

So given that my high school experience was Greg, the way we celebrated Grad was appropriate. What I regret (and I'm sure he would too) is that our high school experience wasn't more - that I didn't get more involved, get to know more people, join a few clubs, share a few more of my gifts. The people I went to high school with were pretty cool - I know that because I know a lot of them a lot better now than I did then. It's too bad that Greg and I didn't make a bit more of an effort.

Its also too bad that I didn't realize, like I do now, what a monumental event grad was. At the time, I didn't think it was a big deal, because I was going right from high school into a different kind of school, and so on. What I didn't realize is that grad is the platform from which a young boy or girl jumps off of into the wild world of adulthood. I have that wisdom now, in retrospect - heinsight is always 20/20 right? Best to start off that life by celebrating it, getting as filled up with as much love from family and friends as they can as they take that leap forward. My ordination, my next major rite of passage, which was a wonderful celebration, taught me that lesson well.

So I decided to participate this year in the grad at the school I've been working in, CTK, for the grad class of 2009. I've had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of the kids there over the last five years that I've been with them - and they're an awesome bunch. Some of them were my travel mates in Italy a few months back. And they were so welcoming of me too, wanting me to join them for their retreat and their banquet and dance, to party it up with them. So I figured, why not?

And it was great. I danced 'till midnight, and have the back pain to show for it too. Ah, it was worth it.

And the cool thing is, they DO know what their grad means, the way I didn't - maybe, just a little bit, because I was there with them.

Congratulations to all the Graduating Classes of 2009!!